Traversing the Rabbit Hole of Depression

Depression is an issue that has dogged me for a lot longer than I’ve been prepared to admit even to myself. It’s tough to describe how it feels. It’d be easy to say that it’s a sensation of feeling perpetually sad and gloomy, but I don’t think that’s accurate at all. In my own experience, I’m not perpetually sad and gloomy. I’m often happy, chirpy, and full of mischief. I experience emotion in much the same way as others.

The difference is that my low moods bring about certain thoughts and apprehensions that maybe aren’t there in a person who doesn’t suffer from depression. I lack a ‘grin and bear it’ mentality. I can’t carry on regardless. When I’m in a low mood I really feel it and it affects me to a debilitating level. I doubt myself. I doubt the world around me. I doubt life.

I’d like to stress that I am not suicidal. I have no wish to die and I absolutely would never take my own life. There’s too much to live for in my son alone, never mind all the other bits and pieces that are worth keeping on going for. What I do experience is quite profound levels of emptiness and loneliness. There are times where I’ll rhetorically ask “What is the point in carrying on?” because I often fail to see the point in existence. That’s a lie. I always fail to see the point in existence.

The question “What is the meaning of life?” is often asked and pondered; nobody can come up with a definitive answer. That’s because I believe there honestly isn’t an answer. My atheist, existentialist, and scientific standpoints converge to reach the conclusion that life was an accident. The right congregation of elements combined under the right conditions in the right place and created the very basic building blocks that brought about life. The rest is history. We are born into existence and are destined to become only what we work towards becoming. There is no god guiding our hand. We’re alone; every living thing on this planet is alone. Sure, there might be life elsewhere in the universe—in fact I firmly think there is—but the chances we’ll exist long enough see it are remote in my opinion.

In short, there is no meaning of life. We are here because evolution made it so. Biological evolution that is, not selective evolution.

That isn’t a source for my depression. I’m extremely at ease with the fact life has no meaning. My low mood is linked more to what the point in living is. What freedom do we truly have? To get anywhere we have to follow rules set forth by other people and, if we don’t follow them, those people make getting anywhere very, very difficult. We all have a choice; those choices are limited. If you will, depressingly limited.

You can choose not to go to school. If you don’t you won’t get the basic qualifications needed to get basic jobs and your parents will get penalised for your choice. You can choose not to work. If you don’t go to work you won’t get the appropriate amount of money to live a comfortable life. Okay, you can claim benefits; however, you’ll be expected to prove that you’re taking steps to get into work and the money you receive will only be enough to pay bills and feed yourself. You can choose to do a whole host of things; if your choice isn’t in some way aligned with the expectation of those in power then you’ll suffer the consequence. Realistically, we don’t have many choices at all.

And therein lays the root of my depression. I’m depressed with life in general and how unfair it is that I can’t just be me and do what makes me happy. I have to do what I’m told and what’s expected of me. I have little to no control over anything and that really causes me deep, dark despair. Worse still, there’s nothing I can do about it. This is life! It isn’t going to change and, if the vociferous far left get their way, it’s only going to get worse as more and more freedoms will be removed in order to protect the precious feelings of the easily offended.

The Merovingian

Yes, I have problems in my life that cause me distress. These are problems that I could sort out and ease the burden on myself. I wouldn’t say these things make me depressed though. My failure to grasp the concept of life and comprehend why things are the way they are in general is what drags me down the infernal rabbit hole. I can’t bring myself just to accept how everything works. It isn’t possible for a person like me.

How do you fix that? I really don’t think you can. The way the world works isn’t going to change to suit a vision of what I want to see. If anything, it’s only going to move further away from that utopia. So, all I can do is try to fill my existence with as many nice things that make me happy as I can and swallow this dark beast that lives within. I’m aware that’s repression, which isn’t a healthy thing to do. What else am I supposed to do though? I can’t fix the problem that causes my depression.

Depression is tantamount to self-flagellation of the mind. It’s a constant not-so-merry-go-round of dark thoughts and an overwhelming sensation of pointlessness that you can’t, no matter what you try, break free from. I don’t want to feel this way and wish that I could be as ignorant as other people who pay no attention to how shit the world is. How nice it must be to wake each day and think going to work is as hard as it’ll get. Going to work is hard for me, but the reasons for that are a damn sight deeper and infinitely more morbid.

I don’t know if I’m in self-destruct mode. I don’t think I am as I’m actively trying to better my lot in life. If I’m honest with myself though, I have no confidence my efforts will bear fruit. As much as I hate to say it, I believe I’ll still be unpublished in five years because I have no cause to believe good things are ever coming my way. That isn’t self pity, it’s self-preservation.

My rabbit hole runs deep. Every time I think I might have hit the bottom I still continue to tumble down. I can only pray a Wonderland waits for me at the other end…

Here’s a selection of UK and US based websites with information on depression:

The Priory Group (based in the north-west of England)

Young Minds

A CBT depression test on the NHS website

Mental Health America

National Institute of Mental Health

8 thoughts on “Traversing the Rabbit Hole of Depression

    1. It’s really not easy to communicate these kinds of feelings. It runs a damn sight deeper than “I have depression”. There are a million whats, wheres, whys, and hows to accompany that simple phrase. I’m hoping my posts inspire people to be forthcoming about their own problems and seek the help they need. Suffering in silence is a bad idea. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s one of the main purposes of all this: to get people thinking about their own mental health and reflect on why they do some of what they do. I’m delighted it’s getting through to you in such a way.

      I’m looking for people to write a short couple of paragraphs about their thoughts, experiences, and possible advice regarding mental health to share in a later post. If you want to get involved I’ll happily include your musings. In fact, I’d consider it an honour ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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